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June/July 2015

Dear Members,

PHYSICIANS ASSISTANTS MAY PRONOUNCE THE DEATH, BUT CANNOT CERTIFY THE DEATH A Physician Assistant will be permitted to pronounce death certificates effective August 1, 2014. Listed below are the guidelines for completing the Certificate of Death as the pronouncer for a Physician Assistant:

1) Item 23a-d must be completed by person who pronounces the death.
2) Item 23a –Enter the exact month, day and year the decedent was pronounced dead.
3) Item 23b – Original signature of person pronouncing the death should be completed in black pen. Gel based pens, a photocopied, typed, printed, rubber stamped or carbon copied signature is not acceptable.
4) Item 23c – Enter the license number of person pronouncing the death.
5) Item 23d – Enter the exact month, day and year the person pronouncing signs the death certificate.
6) Item 24 – Enter the exact time of death (hours and minutes) according to local time.

For further information on completing the death certificate, please see the Death Certificate Registration Manual available at the Division of Vital Records website at www.health.state.pa.us/vitalrecords and go to the Data Provider tab on the left side of the page.

In an effort to reduce the number of death certificates received for filing at Vital Records containing missing data, we are providing you with a list of the most commonly missed items for you to review on the death certificate prior to filing with the local registrar.

1. Time of Death - #24
2. Date of Disposition - #16b
3. Social Security number missing or incorrect - #3
4. Many issues with 39a through 39c
a. Certifiers signature, title and/or license number missing or license number illegible
b. Name, address and zip code of certifier missing or in many incidents illegible
c. Certifier did not sign
5. Manner of Death - #31
6. Coroner Referrals - #25: If manner of death was other than natural, the death must be referred to a coroner. It has been noted that the death is not being referred to a coroner or the death certificate does not notate that the death was referred to a coroner. Item #25 must be checked.
7. Injury – # 32 – 38: When death is other than natural, items #32 - #38 must be completed.
8. Tobacco Use - #30
9. Funeral Director's signature - #17a
10. Decedent Education and race - # 8 through #21
11. Name of the County on Location of Injury – Item #35

If you have any questions concerning this Important Notice, please follow up with Dianne Jenkins-Papa, Supervisor, Registration and Death Services Unit, djenkinspa@pa.gov or 724-698-2374.

Online Submission of Preneed Forms The State Board of Funeral Directors is pleased to announce the new online submission of Report of Preneed Burial Contracts and Completed Prepaid Burial Contract Reports. These forms are now available online by accessing the State Board of Funeral Directors website at www.dos.pa.gov/funeral. Select the link "Prepaid Burial Contract Forms" located under Board Resources. Your Username and Password is the same as your login information when renewing your funeral establishment's license online.

State Board of Funeral Directors will no longer accept paper submissions of these reports beginning July 1, 2015. All reports will be required to be submitted online.

In order to successfully upload your Reports, follow these directions:

• Use the login information (username and password) for the Funeral Establishment, not the Funeral Director, as you used when renewing your establishment license. There is a link to create a username and password if you do not remember yours. You must use your establishment registration number located on the wallet card to create a new username and password.
• Do not use spaces or dashes when inputting the license number.
Please contact the Help Desk at 717-783-1087 if you have issues with the system.
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the board office.
State Board of Funeral Directors
P.O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105
717-783-3397
ST-FUNERAL@PA.GOV
www.dos.pa.gov

Unclaimed Veteran Remains – Casket or Urn Reimbursement Program The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program to reimburse for the purchase of a casket or urn used for interment or inurnment of the remains of an Unclaimed Veteran in a VA National Cemetery, is in place. The program allows for the reimbursement to any individual or entity, has standards for the casket or urn purchased, and by law requires that the Veteran died on or after January 10, 2014.

For eligible Veterans who died on or after January 10, 2014 and were interred in a VA national cemetery prior to May 13, 2015 there are special instructions for applying for the reimbursement.

To learn more about the program and how to receive reimbursement, please reference these fact sheets: Unclaimed Remains Burial Resources, Unclaimed Veterans Remains – Casket or Urn Reimbursement Program, and Retroactive Unclaimed Veterans Remains – Casket and Urns Reimbursement Program which can be found at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/docs/factsheets/Unclaimed_Remains_Burial_Resources.pdf .

New Job Safety Poster Released by OSHA Last month OSHA released a newer version of the "It's the Law" poster that must be placed in all workplaces where employees can see it. The updated poster lets workers know they can request an OSHA inspection of their workplace, get information and training about on job hazards, how to report a work-related injury or illness, and how to raise safety and health concerns with their employer without being retaliated against. The poster is available free and can be downloaded online at www.osha.gov.

Transgender Employees Can Use The Restroom of Their Choice OSHA has new guidance which says a person who identifies as a man should be allowed to use the men's room, and a person who identifies as a woman should be allowed to use the women's room. These employees are not required to show documentation of their gender identity.

Importance of a Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) in the Death Care Business A Standard Operating Procedure(SOP) is a written document or manual that provides specific instructions on everyday work processes. A SOP helps to make sure that all employees are performing regular everyday tasks that in a manner that complies with your funeral homes' policies and procedures, and it can outline many operational aspects like: first calls, identification, processing of death certificates, and disposition permits, and contract preparation. Also, SOPs provide employees with direction on who in the organization will perform certain tasks, where they will occur, what materials and tools are necessary, and exactly how the tasks will be completed. SOPs should be reviewed every one to two years so that it reflects that best practices in the funeral business and is up-to-date.

New Version of Microsoft Windows Means Big Changes for Business Users On July 29th, Microsoft will be releasing a new operating system called Windows 10. The new version will have a faster Web browser, better security, continuous online updates, and many more features. There will be a free downloadable version offer by Microsoft in the first year of the launch, but the free version cannot be transferred to a new computer at a later time.

No Automatic Immunity for State Board Members – In February of this year, the Supreme Court of the U.S. issued an important anti-trust decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC. The court held that professional licensing boards composed of market participants do not enjoy automatic immunity under the Sherman Act. This case arose from a challenge by the Dental Board to non-dentists who provided teeth whitening. Cease and desist letters were sent to 47 entities by the Board claiming that teeth whitening constituted the practice of dentistry despite the fact that there was no statute or regulation saying so. The FTC challenged the State Board alleging that it's "concerted action to exclude non-dentists from the teeth whitening market constituted an anti-competitive and unfair method of competition."

Generally, states enjoy immunity for anti-competitive conduct when acting their sovereign capacity but in this case, since such activity was not "actively supervised by the state, there is no automatic immunity to the Board members. While there are factual issues distinct from the Board's in Pennsylvania, this decision has broad implications for licensing boards across the nation.
Source: Kathleen K. Ryan, Esquire, PFDA

Arthritis Foundation Harrisburg Office Address Change The Harrisburg office of the Arthritis Foundation in Pennsylvania has moved. Their new address is Arthritis Foundation Central PA, 4811 Jonestown Road, Suite 230, Harrisburg, PA 17109.

Background Check Fee Changes Governor Wolf announced that the cost of both the child abuse clearances and criminal history record checks have gone from $10 to $8 for applicants. The fee will now be waived for volunteers working with children. These changes go into effect on July 25, 2015.

Alert Your Families: New Scam Targeting the Elderly NFDA recently heard from a law enforcement official in Wisconsin about a new scam targeting the elderly. A woman was contacted by a person claiming to be from a life insurance company that insured her recently deceased husband. The person claimed the insurance company overpaid on her claim and demanded repayment of $2,000. The caller threatened to freeze her Social Security checks until the payment was made; they also warned of potential legal action. The scammer was assisted by two other parties – one claiming to be the woman's attorney and another person posing as a social security representative – in an attempt to verify the call. This scam may spread beyond Wisconsin; share this information with the families you serve so they don't become victims. People who receive suspicious calls should alert local law enforcement officials immediately.
Source: NFDA, June 8, 2015 Bulletin

OSHA's Revised Hazard Communication Requirements in Effect June 1 On June 1, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers were required to provide a common approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category. Beginning in December, distributors may only ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer if the labels meet these requirements. The June 1 deadline was established when OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard in 2012 with the global standard for chemical product labeling. The provisions for labeling offer workers better protection from chemical hazards, while also reducing trade barriers and improving productivity for American businesses that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals. The updated standard also provides cost savings for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the standard, saving businesses millions of dollars each year. The new format for Safety Data Sheets requires 16 specific sections to ensure consistency in presentation of important protection information. For more information, see OSHA's https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom .
Source: NFDA, June 8, 2015, Bulletin

The FTC Consumer Complaint Scam is Back The FTC alerted businesses that an old scam is back. A number of businesses throughout the country have received an email notifying them that a consumer has filed a complaint with the FTC; the emails look official and contain the FTC seal and links and email addresses that appear to be legitimate. Do not click on any of the links in these emails; clicking on a link in this email could do serious damage to your computer or allow scammers access to your systems. Visit the FTC website to learn what you should do if you receive one of these emails.
Source: NFDA, May 25, 2015 Bulletin

In Memoriam


John R. Kasting, Jr, 80, of Rock Hill, SC, died on April, 3, 2015. He was a former Executive Director of PFDA.
William Albert Reese, 62, of Plymouth, died on April 27, 2015 at his home. He was the owner and operator of the William A. Reese Funeral Chapel in Plymouth.
Mary Ann Fluehr Murphy, 89, of Gladwyne, died on May 3, 2015 in Waverly Heights. She is survived by her son Keith J. Murphy, a licensed funeral director and operator of The Bernard S. Gutkowski Funeral Home, Swedesburg.
Dorothy Feiser, 95, of New Oxford, died on May 8, 2015 at Heartfields at Frederick. She is survived by her son J. Clark Feiser, former owner of Feiser Funeral Home Inc, New Oxford and a Past President of PFDA.
David Samuel Gilbert, Jr, 86, of Elizabeth Township, died on May 11, 2015 at home. He is survived by his son Drew J. and grandson Troy J., both funeral directors at Gilbert Funeral Home and Crematory, Boston, PA.
William L. Capello, Jr., 72, of Middletown, died on June 12, 2015 at home. He is survived by his son-in-law Lynn Ronan, owner of Ronan Funeral Home, Carlisle and Secretary of the Capital City local association.


PFDA Office Closing The PFDA office will be closed on Friday, July 3rd, 2015 in observation of the 4th of July Holiday. The office will reopen on Monday, July 6, 2015.

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